The guitar is a fickle mistress. One day you’re shredding like a coked-up Yngwie Malmsteen, and the next you sound like the most annoying noodler at Guitar Center. It takes physical and mental energy to master this craft. When you’re not at the top of your game, guitar playing can feel like a chore.
Worse yet is the procrastination that eats up precious string time; when playing should be the favored method of procrastinating from other menial tasks (like going to work, feeding pets, and sleep). Inspiration is nowhere to be found, yet those six strings sit there just waiting to get dirtied up.
For my dollar, Warren Haynes is the best rock guitarist alive. The fact that he surrounds himself with other legendary musicians doesn’t hurt either. Consider his track record – guitarist for The Allman Brothers, The Dead, David Allen Coe, Dickey Betts, and of course Gov’t Mule and the recent Warren Haynes Band. Not to mention the hundreds of guest appearances and collaborations with artists from Dave Matthews to James Hetfield.
Warren is something of a musical chameleon. When he plays the blues, you’d think he was a direct descendant of Robert Johnson. If his last name was King, he’d be right there with Freddie, Albert, and B.B. He might be the only one who can pull off jazz standards, Black Sabbath, Eagles, and Prince songs in the same set and make it work. No matter the genre, Warren’s style and sound are unmistakeable.
Today we’ll focus on the work of Warren’s most adventurous sonic playground – Gov’t Mule. Not to detract from 20 years worth of original material, looking at how they interpret other songs and make them their own (and often better) is a study of musical mastery and creativity.
It’s been said Gov’t Mule is the world’s best cover band. Hear why…
Pumping Nylon is famous for its “Daily Warm-Up” – the classical guitar exercise routine to refine the movements of both hands. After years of playing through it, I’ve come up with a few of my own additions and variations – here are 3…
I have listened to this album start to finish more times than any other, with the exception of AC/DC Live. Considering I’m obviously not a hip-hop connoisseur, that says a lot. There is enough ear candy care of Del, Dan and Kid Koala to warrant repeated listening for a long time. Plus like any good concept album, it’s great driving music. Continue reading Astronaut Rhymes